Is Fender Play Worth it? [Full Guide]

Fender Play arguably has the largest marketing budget than any other guitar course in the world. Their ads are played on YouTube videos, present in blogs, and seem to be the dominant platform. The program is also a product of one of the greatest guitar manufacturers of all time, Fender. But is Fender Play worth it?

Fender play is worth it for beginner guitarists as the service offers a helpful progression timeline that is easy to follow and insightful. For non-beginners, Fender Play is not worth it as the lessons are very simple and only cover the absolute beginner fundamentals.

Continue reading to find out how much Fender Play costs per year, if it’s worth it, and whether it is for beginners only.

Is Fender Play Worth it?

How Much Does Fender Play Cost Per Year?

Without a promotion, Fender Play costs $150 a year which equates to $12.50 per month. Currently they have a 50% off offer that cuts this price in half if you pay for the full year up front. If you prefer to pay monthly, the price is $12.50 per month.

How much does Fender Play cost
Fender Play Cost

They also have a 7-day free trial and I recommend utilizing this before paying for membership. When you get the free trial, scower the service to determine if it is worth your time and effort to pay for the membership. See if the lessons format is constructive to your learning preferences, if the service is too easy, if the songs are too boring, etc.

Is Fender Play Worth it?

Fender Play is only worth it if the guitarist is a complete beginner and has never picked up the guitar before. The lessons are very simple, yet structured well, which will help a complete beginner progress without feeling overwhelmed. If a guitarist even knows one chord or song already, then Fender Play is not worth it because the lessons do not get harder and only covers absolute beginner fundamentals.

Again, I encourage you to try out the 7-day free trial before signing up for the full term. For many new guitarists, you will be able to breeze past the whole course in 7 days and will be able to cancel. If you dedicate a lot of time to it.

Let’s discuss the below aspects to understand how I got to the above conclusion.

Fender Play Instructors:

At the beginner level, most guitar courses teach the same material no matter the genre you want to learn. This material includes simple chords, strumming patterns, basic songs, and so on. Since all beginner courses basically teach the same things, what matters is the instructors. So how are the Fender Play instructors?

One thing to note is that this section is slightly bias as each person’s learning preferences are different. The Fender Play instructors seem to be quite robotic and emotionless. They do not seem to bring their own style to their playing or lesson delivery which can make the lesson feel a bit dull.

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I could be slightly brash with that statement, but I am comparing them to YouTubers like Paul Davids and Justin Guitar. Two instructors that put every ounce of their creative being into administering a pleasant and enjoyable learning experience. I did not feel this same feeling with the Fender Play instructors.

The instructors do know what they are talking about and are obvious experts on the guitar. Their content and tips are insightful and helpful, it is simply the delivery that is lacking for me.

With all that being said, the video quality and production of the videos are top notch. The instructors are perfectly centered in the screen like a Wes Anderson film and clear camera angles are introduced to compliment what the instructor is saying.

Fender Play Lessons

Although the instructors are not entirely to my liking, the lessons they give are a different story. For a beginner guitarist, the lessons that Fender Play provides are extremely insightful and a solid starting point for any new guitarist interested in learning the basics. Let’s discuss how I got to this conclusion.

The video lessons are called bite-sized lessons by Fender. Meaning, they’re short. I personally like this aspect of the lessons because it makes it easier to rewind the video and watch it over without having to sit through a bunch of stuff that you do not care to see again. The lessons are done this way to keep your attention and interest.

As for the content of the lessons themselves, everything a beginner guitarist needs to know is taught. This includes aspects outside of the physical playing of the guitar. Things like how to read TAB and understanding chord diagrams. The course shows the student basic strum patterns, how to keep time and then slowly starts to introduce chords.

Instead of feeding a ton of information and no fun, the program throws in songs to learn after a few lessons. One of the first songs they teach in level 1 of electric guitar blues is Boom Boom, a song I am very happy to see being taught. The last song in level 7 being a simplified version of Voo Doo Child. The songs they are teaching are extremely good picks and fun to play.

To summarize, the lessons offered by Fender Play will give a beginner guitarist proper technique and structure that will set up their playing the right way for years to come.

Other Fender Play Content

Aside from lessons, Fender Play also offers a variety of other amenities. The biggest one I like is backing tracks. Backing tracks are a great way to build a sense of timing and to eventually develop your own style and sound.

Second is the chord challenge, I have been playing guitar for a while so it was not much of a challenge but would have loved something like this when I was a beginner. It makes the speed of changing chord shapes into a game, so if you are competitive than you will progress faster.

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Third is the community. In the community, there are thousands of other beginner guitarists connecting with each other. This helps to encourage new guitarists, showing that many people are in the same boat as them. It is easy to become frustrated as a new guitarist so the community is more valuable than you may think to counteract that frustration.

Is Fender Play Worth it
Image from the Fender Play Website

Fender Play Platform / App – is it easy to use?

The platform of Fender Play is likely one of the bigger selling points. The service is extremely easy to use and navigate. The homepage tells you to choose your path (acoustic, electric, bass, ukulele) as well as the genre you want to focus on (rock, blues, folk).

From there, there is a sidebar where you can choose the level lesson you want to learn, songs to learn, skills, progress indicator, and general guitar articles.

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After clicking the genre and type of guitar, click on the levels sidebar to bring up all the lessons in that level for that specific genre and guitar type. When you are ready to go, just pick your lesson and hit play. A small feature I admire is the favorites button. You can favorite lessons that you liked or want to go back to seamlessly.

To summarize, the Fender Play platform is extremely user-friendly and allows a new guitarist to keep track of their progress easily.

Does Fender Play Teach Theory?

Fender Play does not fully teach theory. The course is designed for beginners, so it only covers a high overview of concepts supported by theory. In terms of theory, Fender Play reviews chord patterns and basic reasoning behind chord formations.

Other than the above, no further theory is truly taught in an applicable way. For me, this is not a deal breaker because I still barely know theory and have been playing guitar for many years. Understanding theory helps your guitar playing but is not an essential piece to become great.

Is Fender Play for Beginners Only?

Yes, Fender Play is for beginners only. A non-beginner can use the service as it is available to anyone, although they will quickly realize how the service is tailored to absolute beginners and not challenging for an intermediate or experienced guitar player.

Intermediate players will not get much out of Fender Play as the lessons are extremely geared towards beginners. The only thing that intermediate players will see value in is some backing tracks and tabs, both of which can be found on YouTube and Ultimate Guitar.

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